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In the early 1900's Federal Probation officers were volunteers. In 1925 Congress enacted legislation establishing the Federal Probation System. In 1929 the first paid U.S. Probation Officer was appointed under the U.S. Department of Justice. The Federal Probation Office operated under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of justice until 1939, when Congress established the Administration Office of the United States Courts. Within the Administrative Office, the Division of Probation was created to oversee the Federal Probation System. The Division of Probation and Pretrial Services is located in Washington, D.C.

On September 27, 1982, the Pretrial Services Act of 1982 was signed into law by the President "authorizing the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, under the supervision and direction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, to provide, direct or by contract or otherwise, for the establishment of the Pretrial Services in each U.S. judicial district".

Today, there are 94 Federal District Courts and each district has a U.S. Probation Office. Many districts also have separate U.S. Pretrial Services Offices. The Chief Probation or Pretrial Services Officer is the manager of each office. Federal Probation and Pretrial Services Officers are federal law enforcement officers with Hazardous Duty Retirement Pay and all officers are appointed by the Chief Judge of each individual district. In 1989, this Pretrial Services Agency was established in San Diego. In 1992, the United States Pretrial Services Agency Intern Program was established.



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